SDRPlay and a bit of history.

SDRPlay are a British Company who manufacture SDR products.

The origins of the comapny can be traced back to their first product to be released to the world market way back in August 2014 with the original RSP1 radio receiver which had a 2 tone grey and blue plastic case.

Fast forward to 2017 and the RSP1A  model was released, a much improved radio in every way.

I think this model solidified SDRPlays position in the worldwide radio marketplace. The RSP1A was hugely popular, owners liked the no gaps coverage and keen pricing.

Here is a video released by SDRPlay a couple of years ago showing manufacture of their RSP SDR radio receivers right here in the UK.


I reviewed the RSP1A model back in 2019 and the link to that review is below.


The New RSP1B Model.

On January 26th 2024 SDRPlay announced the release of a new radio to the RSP1 model line, the RSP1B.

This radio is housed in a steel enclosure and has improved RF filtering and lower noise floor paricularly in the <1mhz range than RSP1A. This will no doubt please MW/LW/LF listeners.

The price at launch £106 GBP / €126 EUR excluding local taxes which surprised me. More on that later in this article.

So here is the RSP1B which arrived here on 14th Februrary 2024 just 3 weeks after launch.

The first thing I noticed was the packaging, a minimalist stiff card box unlike the transparent PET plastic sleeve used on the earlier RSP1A. I assume the card box is a lower cost to mass produce, I think a similar design is used for RSPdx and Duo outer packaging so this new way of boxing things up makes perfect business sense. Stiff printed card is of course 100% recycleable which may have been a factor in the decision making also.

The second thing I noticed was the unit is quite heavy for its size. The enclosure seemed very substantial to the feel with a bit of weight there. I like the RSP1B already !

Very unlike its predesessor the RSP1 and RSP1A which have a plastic enclosures, The RSP1B Immediately looks and feels part of the SDRPlay current lineage, and has the appearance of higher end models RSPdx and RSPDuo.

Now to the the sizing.


The view from the other side of the unit where there is a single USB type B socket.

Now to the bottom of the unit. There are 4 neoprene feet to prevent the unit from moving around.


Everything considered on first look around, I am hugely impressed by the fit and finish of the enclosure. The screen print of the logo and model number is good also,  If this metal case is painted, it is a very hard wearing finish indeed. In line with what you would see from a powder coat finish in fact. There are no unsightly gaps on this enclosure, the guage of the metal used is substantial, this is not going to bend or dent in a hurry thats for sure !

Enough of whats on the outside so lets take a look on the inside.

As far as I know at time of writing, these are the first photos of the internals of the RSP1B.

Removing 4 adhesive feet from the bottom of the case reveals 4 screws.


And now the enclosure can be separated in two and the PCB is accessible.


Certainly reminiscent of the RSP1A in physical appearance but lets take a closer look.

Here is an RSP1A and the new RSP1B side by side.


There is an increased parts count in the centre of the new PCB of the RSP1B, I assume this is for improved band pass filtering.

There is one interesting and intrigueing thing I noticed when taking this photo and I had an idea but I will save that until later in this article.

Here is a close up of the RSP1A PCB. As said earlier, the first photos as far as I know to be published to the radio community.

You can see more capacitors and inductors in the centre of the board.


Now to actually using this radio.

For at least 5 years SDRPlay have always said they would release software that was cross platform, useable with almost any device. To be absolutely honest , I (and most likely a lot of other radio enthusiasts) thought this was too big an ambition. The mainstay SDRUno software was functional and had a lot of add ons such as scanning etc. Some of these modules were developed by SDRplay and some by the radio community.

I always liked the audio quality from SDRplay devices but in my case I did not care too much for SDRUno. It is a very “busy” screen/GUI . Some users like this but it is most definitely not for me. I have tried it lots. Horses for courses I suppose.

In late 2023 SDRPlay released a new software called SDRConnect, it is cross platform. Yes you can do SDR on a Mac device.. The holy grail for radio enthusiast users of Apple machines.

Here is a screenshot of SDRConnect on my new device under test the RSP1B.


I have to say I have the greatest admiration for those people in the industry who keep a promise. SDRplay are a small company and they have delivered to their customers what they said they would deliver 5 years ago.

I read the forums, all the negatives warts and all.  It must have taken many many man hours to produce this.

Okay it is not a finished product, there is no scanning, memories and suchlike just yet but this is the dawn of a whole new era for SDRPlay. The interface is clean, easy to navigate with less clutter. The polar opposite to SDRUno IMHO.

Alternative software for the RSP1B ? Yes 2 packages in particular have been very busy and already have RSP1B compatability.

That was quick, the device is only 3 weeks old !


SDR++ by Alexandre Rouma (Belgium)

And the brilliant SDR Console software by Simon Brown G4ELI (UK).

Windows only, no scanning, not much in the way of plugins but for HF/Sat ops who could want more than this ?


I am sure that one of the above will suit your needs.


Initial findings after spending half a day listening to the RSP1B are good ones.

I will keep this device on test for a few weeks and report back here.

The noise floor is much lower than a stock RSP1A but wait…remember that nice RSP1B enclosure ?

Early in this article I said I had an idea, well lets try the RSP1A into an RSP1B enclosure…

Guess what ? It fits the RSP1A perfectly.


Small things matter a lot.

Note the clever design of the inside of the case, before coating the area around the antenna connector and 2 of the PCB standoffs are masked so that when everything is assembled there is a very solid ground bonding.

Also note the flat section of the SMA hole to prevent unwanted rotation of the antenna socket. Something which RSP1A users will be familiar with !


The RSP1A enclosure was made of plastic that was sprayed on the inside with a metalised coating to reduce RFI entering the unit. The metal one from the RSP1B is much better.


A message to SDRPlay,

Priced right I am sure you would sell truckloads of these enclosures to your loyal RSP1A customers worldwide.

Perhaps an “RSP1A case upgrade kit”  would be a good idea.

The case itself , 4 No M3x12mm countersunk pozidrive machine screws and 4 bumper feet. Case markings dont matter much , plain or logo only would do.

This improves the performance of RSP1A no end..I have tried it !


I will come back to the performance of the RSP1B following further experiments and add to this article but for now this is a huge step forward in both hardware and software delivery.



SDRPlay have obviously been very busy in the past couple of years.

I see that now the company have a new distribution centre in Reading UK.

They have brought multi platform support with their recently released SDRConnect software.

They have delivered a new budget price product in the form of the RSP1B model into the world market at a time where component supply certainly must have been a factor that caused some concern back in the development/planning stage. New models dont just appear, they are many months even years from idea/conception to financing, sourcing and manufacture to get to the end game of a ready to sell product.

A lot has happened to pricing of just about everything worldwide over the last few years due to inflation. Think about your every day costs and just how much they have risen over recent years especially. Yeah Crazy isnt it ?

The RSP1B is currently selling for around £127 GBP/€149 Euros/$139 USD depending on your location.

That is astonishingly good value for money when you consider the RSP1A first hit the shelves for £92 GBP /$99 USD back in November 2017 over six years ago.

Now there is a metal case & improved performance for such a small increase in cost.

Quite frankly I dont know how SDRPlay have done it for the price.

SDRPlay have a network of dealer partners worldwide.

If you are located in the UK or EU , I can wholeheartedly recommend SDR-Kits owned by Jan Verduyn.


I would place your order now at your local distributor before SDRPlay change their mind on the retail price !

Only Joking !